Saturday, January 05, 2013

Puppy Love

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How can anyone resist this little, adorable, foxy-faced baby? Doesn’t that belly call out for a rub? Soon this will be snarfling at my door. Can’t wait. It appears to be happening perhaps by next weekend. Fingers crossed.

We have had some real cold weather for the first time. Thankfully the new heating system is working well. That is if someone doesn’t accidentally turn off the switch at the top of te stairs in the new house. The switch will be getting a red cover Monday but on Friday I didn’t even know it existed. That is until it got down to 51 degrees and falling. I had a sweatshirt, coat, Ugg slippers and a quilt on me when I woke from a light nap on the couch I knew something was very wrong. After calling the contractor and having a short question and answer I was told to hit the switch at the top of the stairs and that was the problem. It looks like a light switch and got turned off. Boy that heat came up in minutes and the house was toasty and lovely in no time. Just one of the many little things to get used to. Now we all know not to flip that one. Brrrr.

I’ve spent most of the afternoon organizing(eeeekkkkkk) paperwork and looking for a missing check register. I cannot find it and I finally had to walk away from the piles of envelopes and statements. Record keeping is not my forte. Nope…not at all.

I decided to make meatballs instead and that is my thing. Meatballs and Mezzi Rigatoni for dinner with eggplant and mushroom sauce. Yummy and the perfect cold weather food. Tomorrow we are going to an Asian restaurant out east to celebrate our friend Joe’s birthday. There will be his whole family and then some and us. Looking forward to it since it is Chinese, Thai, and Japanese. Mmmmmm.

Back soon with an update on the birthday celebration. It’s a fun and funny crowd.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Super Storm and the Closet of Shame

121216_06 Here are some shots that I took of the Super Storm aftermath at our beach. The top shot is of the beach and what normally is a little creek that flows into the salt marsh. Below is what used to be the salt marsh. In all the years I’ve been here I’ve never seen the marsh completely covered all the way up for several blocks to the golf course. It was very creepy. Well, the whole things was creepy and as bad as it was we were some of the lucky ones. We had no power for 7 days and lost all the food in the fridge. There was no gas to be had for a week or so but there wasn’t anywhere to go anyway. I was lucky enough to go to James & Dani’s for a nice hot shower when ours ran out- we ate at a diner near them. Everywhere you went was cash only so I guess that was lucky too since I had a bit of cash on hand and so did Bob. We ate at a restaurant every lunch and some dinners. There were interior places on the island that were just messed up from strong winds but here, just down the block, an enormous ancient fir tree, (think Rockafeller tree) fell over across the road and took out all of the power for blocks for many days. For the first few days no one even came to do anything. They were too busy helping people who had real serious flooding problems out on the Neck. It was pretty bad out there and only accessible by boat for a while. The Coast Guard station is out there so I guess they could get some help if serious help was needed.

Anyway, Many, many, old trees fell over and for a couple of weeks all you could hear was the sound of chain saws and trucks carting away all the debris.

   I’m back, as promised yesterday with the tale of the Closet of Shame. Several years ago, on this blog I recounted the embarrassing tale of my so-called walk-in-closet. I named it the Closet of Shame since at that time it contained shelves, bags, and boxes of fabric that I had collected. If I never bought another yard of fabric I could start sewing today(if only) and keep on going for a large number of quilts. However, as we all know, there is a moment in making quilts and wall hangings when you realize that it just needs something elusive to make it what you imagined and that requires you to go into dangerous territory to find it. You know what I mean…you enter the shop and suddenly bolts of fabric throw themselves off the shelf into your arms. What can a girl do?? It kind of reminds me of the same thing that happens when you have recipes you have come across in a new book or on line. As much stuff as you may have in the pantry or fridge, you never have the right stuff for the recipe. But I digress violently….


121216_05 My DIL Dani’s Grandmother passed away a few weeks ago and so I ventured into the closet to get out the black pants and shirt for the wake and funeral. As I lifted the hangers and turned around to exit-I was viciously attacked by the entire Closet Maid shelves, all of my hanging clothes, and a large collection of Roger’s Lionel Train collection. Seriously, the whole darn thing just fell on me with a whoosh. Mercifully the clothes covering me kept me from being knocked out by the Lionel trains. Also mercifully, the train collection fell on soft clothing and we didn’t lose any of the precious trains either. As for me-I just started to laugh. What else was there to do. I was stuck under piles of clothing and trains so I just sat down and laughed. Then I figured I better hold tight to the black clothing and find a way out. Since it was late at night I didn’t even go over and tell Bob. Luckily for me I have the best BIL in the world and when he saw my predicament he just got to work figuring out a way to fix things. The worst part of the whole thing was that I had to find a place to put all the clothes and trains for the time being. Here we had a whole house standing empty with miles of space and couldn’t use it yet because we didn’t have the certificate of occupancy. I did manage to lay down a soft blanket and put all the trains on the floor of my new sewing room since it was a weekend. By Monday Bob got things pretty well done and as for the clothing, it went on top of the already mountainous piles of stuff in my bedroom. Piles on the plastic tubs-piles on the floor, piles of bedding and other stuff. It was really just time to put on blinders and keep moving. 

As I sit here we have just finished dinner and are looking forward to having the house looked at by the permit people and the electrical permit people hopefully tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Oh! and speaking of electrical wiring-this morning before it was even light outside somewhere between 4-5 maybe, my smoke alarm went off. After I pealed myself off the ceiling I tried to wake up enough to figure out what to do. The screaming in my ear of that little bugger made me feel murderous so I got a little ladder and ripped that sucker out by the wires. I’ll grab on the the many electrician/worker bees to help me put in anew one. It was very old. Maybe had a short or something. Wow is the alarm loud at that hour!

121216_04This is where there was a salt marsh. It looks like Long Island Sound but it’s not.It was really deep and high.

Taking my Kindle up to read for a while before I fall asleep. Back soon.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

Men with tools are nearly gone but they’ve left the good stuff behind. Words can’t express adequately how much I love what has taken place here. There are a few details left to iron out before we can get our certificate of occupancy. The kids will hopefully be in by mid Jan. Below are some pics of the work. My house is on the left. BIL Bob’s new digs are under the porch and run to the front. The kids new house is on the right and the upper portion of the house except for James old room. That is the pale pink room below….eeeeeek, my new sewing room. The porch is being used for staging right now so it will look a lot better when all the crap is removed.

121221_31  121221_30121221_29121221_09121221_28 121221_22 This is the hallway out my sewing room and down the corridor to the new house. The floors are so beautiful121201_06_01 121221_26 121221_14 The new master bath awaiting shower enclosure and BIL Bob’s new bath awaiting everything. In between is the guest room/baby room and here is the lovely new staircase in the new house.121207_06 121201_07_02

I can’t seem to make these photos do anything I want but you get the idea. It’s been a long haul and a very noisy one. I’m ready for a winters quiet rest and for locating my sewing machine and fondling fabric again. I’ve been checking up on friends and I hope that you all had a beautiful Christmas and a joyous holiday celebration. Here’s to a year filled with health, peace and lots of fabric!! I will be back tomorrow to tell the tale of the Closet of Shame falling on me a couple of weeks ago and frankly who can blame it. 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Super Beeeezzz


As you can see, the magical super beeezz have been at it again.  It kind of reminds us of a children's story where Rumpelstilskin works through the night changing everything to gold by morning. Friends say that every time they drive by the place looks so different. Really amazing crew. Once I took a nap and when I woke half the framing of the new house was up. Crazy what 6-7 guys with saws and lumber can do in an afternoon.

We are into the doldrums right now though. They are trying to get everything shored up and tight so that the electric and plumbing can begin next week. See that huge pile of dirt that is dug out in the back? They begin to build a new terraced wall back there next week as well. That will be really great for us since we’re really tired of looking at a dirt pile. The crew needed that space to stage all the supplies for building and now it’s almost done. The wall will face the deck and BIL Bob has his cigar out there in the evening. He’s really enjoying the deck-even partially finished. That’s what’s happening today. In the meantime, I developed an allergy we suspect is from the old insulation being ripped out in the middle section of the house. My face broke out in hives and I’ve been living on Benadryl. That stuff works so well but it sure makes you want to sleep all the time. Consequentially nothing much interesting is happening in the sewing department. I’m most likely dangerous behind the wheel of any machine right now. I am working on a white on white Welsh wall hanging that I started 8(really!!) years ago. I have tried to photograph it numerous times but it just doesn’t come out right. Just a white blob. I will try to find a photo of one for purchase on line and show you next time.


I’ve been watching movies and TV series on Amazon Prime. I can sit at the computer and stitch while enjoying.  I bought the final season of “Damages”. Glenn Close is fantastic. Also got the final season of “In Plain Sight”. My heart is broken that both these series are no longer  running. Such great shows.  For sheer, lovely, scenery, costumes and great actors and I watched “The Forsyte Saga”. It was on PBS years ago and I think there is a newer version but for my money there’s no better acting than the original. I do love those period pieces so much.

Off to take a shower and get dressed. The kids are coming with Lucy later. Dinner together. Makes my day!!120907_01_01

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Busy as Beezzzzzz

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120817_01_01 120817_01 Our lightning fast carpenters managed to get the roof of the porch covered and some plywood down so we could use this entrance for the weekend. It was a thrill to sit out there and watch the rainstorm. Made life a little easier for me to get the groceries up from the driveway yesterday evening as well. I had wanted to get some sushi all week and since Bob was heading out for an evening with his buddies I took advantage. Lucky for me, James was just getting off work(he works about a mile away) and had stopped by so I got help from him unloading the groceries.

Debra mentioned in her comment that she thought it was going to be a separate structure for the kids to live in. The laws of this quaint little village we live in(grr)do not allow for that. You cannot build a second structure with a kitchen. They almost will not let you do that for a build on.We had to jump through hoops to get the design of J&Ds house approved and get the permits. They don’t want people to have a rental space on private property. If you want that type of thing you have to have different permits and pay business taxes etc. I can show you about 50 places right near me that have illegal apartments  and have for years. I know, I lived in one. There are a lot of blinders worn for different people in a small village. It’s all about who you know and how much you want to spend under an invisible table. I’m sure it’s like that all over the country. Now and then they make an example of someone and there’s huge fines and a big deal made about it but on the whole it pretty much gets overlooked…unless…you are wanting to build something like we are. So no, the separate structure on this property will be a 3-car garage to be built into the hillside above the current circular driveway at the top of the hill.  The plans are drawn up but we need to get a variance for it since it’s on a slope and will be a little taller than the average garage. James plans to put a lift for working on cars into the center section.  He has plans for his sports car and that center bay will be his baby. Right now the sports car is off the road and on his bosses back lot for safe keeping. Sigh…cars guys.

Anyway that’s the update for now. Thanks for checking in. I’ll be out on the porch if anyone needs me. I am squealing with delight. It’s 10 feet across. Lots of room for a sewing corner, dinner table and even a sitting area over on the kids side. It will have two large overhead fans as well-mosquitoes don’t like big fans. They begin demolition of the inside of Bob’s house Monday and joining the houses together on his side. Talk soon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In the blink of an eye…

120809_03 120809_04_02 It sure seems that way. In just a few days we have gone from framing to tomorrows roofing. The roofing will include building the new covered porch(sqweeee) that will extend from J&Ds house back to my front door as you can see in the first photo. It’s going to be ten feet deep with a nice railing and we can’t wait. If you look at the round things on a couple of the pics you can see the porch footings. Next week, after the roof is on the main structure and the porch, they will break open the old part of the house up and down and attach the houses. Then the electric and plumbing begin. That will be the part that takes the longest since the old structure needs re-wiring and of course the central air part with ducts and such will be a big project. They will eventually break through my basement and connect all the basements into one huge area. The man are all excited about that with visions of power tools and manly stuff to come and never forgetting the Man Cave under James’s house. Dani and I have been put on notice to keep out. Hrrummph…that’s OK though, we have everything else…haha.

Seriously though, it really is starting to look like a house and that makes us all happy.  

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The long wall that was torn down will not be replaced until the work  is finished in the area I’m showing you since that is where the carpenters, electricians, and plumbers have to set up their supplies. There is another huge dumpster in the driveway so it remains a major challenge to get up and down the hill. The weather has not been great. It’s very stormy today so no work is happening until tomorrow. There is no such thing as a simple rainy day any more around here. It is either humid and hot or storming and torrential rivers of water. They have had to put hay bails around the driveway to stop the sand and dirt from going down the driveway too much. The hay bails are growing mushrooms. Very strange looking…

I finished the Granny Square wall hanging and decided that I like it so much I will use the color scheme to decorate my kitchen when we get around to that. That lovely French fabric looks so bright and cheerful I would love to see those colors all around the kitchen. Speaking of which, must go and figure out something for dinner later.

By the way. Do yourself a favor if you have Netflix and download or order “The Way” with Martin Sheen. You will thank me for suggesting this moving, beautiful little film. I’ve watched it twice. Once for the movie itself and then again for all the amazing and breathtaking scenery. I read the book, “Along the Way” a few months ago. It’s also wonderful. Telling the story of Martin Sheen and his son, Emilio Estevez, who made the movie. They each take chapters to tell about their life and I could not put it down. “The Way” is about the road that thousands of travelers take on foot each year called Camino de Santiago de Campostella. Don’t miss it. The only minor complaint I have is that they didn’t show enough of the inside of these amazing churches and cathedrals along the way. I’m a real nut for religious iconography and were it me I would have taken three times as long to walk the Camino because I would have lingered in these places for so long. You get to see a lot of the churches but they don’t spend much time doing more than filming the outside. Beautiful nevertheless.

On the flip side I began watching “Boardwalk Empire” last week and am now hooked on that series. Talk about switching gears in entertainment. From the sublime to the underworld of Atlantic City in the 20s and 30s.

Back soon with more.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Men with tools

120808_05A little up-date on the building. Since I took that last photo through the window they have already put up another wall of the first floor.  There’s not much I can do during the day while they are building since it’s nearly impossible to get out of the house without climbing over piles of lumber or getting in the way. With that in mind I am finishing a few things that have been languishing in the Closet of Shame. These would be things I found while clearing space for the guys to get into the attic and install a central air unit. That will be coming up soon and I dread it but the result will be great. We can finally get rid of the window units and in particular the one in my bedroom that makes the most un-earthly whine from time to time. It’s one of the newest ones we have and was only purchased last summer from Best Buy. It makes an almost human whine that doesn’t bother me during the day since I’m not up there a lot. Night time is very different though. That whine, late at night, is very disturbing. If I wasn’t getting central air installed I would take that sucker back where it came from. No point now. I will happily push it out the window and watch it crash into a dirt pile. Very fun! That’s how we got rid of the last one. James just dropped it to the ground. Saved his back and provided entertainment for those of us with too much time on our hands.

In the center picture you will se what appears to be an opening for a window. That is the cut out for the Corgi bay window for Lucy.  It even appears that way on the plans now. They all got a kick out of it.

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I’m headed to the sewing machine to put the binding on that Granny Square wall hanging. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you are stuck inside with no way out. The photos are clickable for a larger view

More soon….